We investigate the photogeneration of polaron pairs (PPs) in neat films of the semicrystalline donor-acceptor semiconducting copolymer PCPDTBT. Carefully selecting the solution-processing procedures, we obtain films with different amounts of crystallinity and interchain aggregation. We compare the photogeneration of PPs between the films by monitoring their photoinduced absorption in ultrafast pump-probe experiments, selectively exciting nonaggregated or aggregated polymer chains. The direct photoexcitation of interchain π-aggregates results in prompt (<100 fs) charge generation. Compared to the case where nonaggregated chains are excited, we find an 8-fold increase in the prompt PP to singlet-exciton ratio. We also show that highly crystalline lamellar nanostructures not containing π-stacked or any light-absorbing aggregates do not improve the efficiency of PP photogeneration. Our results show that light absorption from interchain aggregates is highly beneficial for charge photogeneration in semiconducting polymers and should be taken into account when optimizing film morphologies for photovoltaic devices.
- charge generation
- organic electronics
- organic photovoltaics
- ultrafast optical spectroscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry